McLaren to Play It Safe for Hamilton
“I think if we said that none of us were nervous about reliability then we would not be speaking entirely the truth, because that is a consideration. It is a worry. But whatever happens, we want to be able to look at ourselves on Sunday evening and say we did everything we could - and hopefully have got the right result,” said Whitmarsh according to autosport.com.
The McLaren driver is currently leading the world standings before the season finale, holding a 7-point advantage over title rival Felipe Massa. Should the Brazilian win his home race, Hamilton will only need a 5th place (or better) to secure his maiden world title.
The Brit has an unfortunate history concerning his car's gearbox. Last year, while also leading the championship ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, the Brit lost plenty of ground at Interlagos due to a transmission problem. It would later cost him the world title.
“We have reviewed any area where we feel we are at risk, and we have put in a tremendous amount of work into the assembly of components, the hydraulic systems and areas like that. It has been done to the highest level we can achieve. There is a lot of tension, but we want a straightforward race this weekend with good reliability - and there has been a lot of effort to make that happen,” added Whitmarsh.
McLaren will also bring some aerodynamic updates for Brazil. However, the British officials admitted they will not necessarily push for victory at Interlagos, as they'll try to 'run Lewis' engine on safer settings'. Massa, on the other hand, will be using a brand new unit on Sunday. Ferrari are leading the constructors' classification with a 9-point advantage over McLaren and need another 9 points to secure a second consecutive title in F1.